In a highly questionable turn of events, a show cause notice was slapped by DC Doda on a government schoolteacher after he motivated the schoolchildren to sing National Anthem during morning prayers in the school premises. While it is popularly known that singing the National Anthem was ‘prohibited’ in almost all the government schools in erstwhile Doda district during the militancy years, that the teacher found himself in soup for making students sing it, now when normalcy has returned, is a big shocker.
Government and private schools across the region had initiated the practice of holding morning assemblies years ago. All Bhanu Pratap Singh, the Physical Education Master of Government Higher Secondary School Bhagwah, did was that he motivated the students of the GHSS to the practice of singing National Anthem. This has won him more enemies than friends in the communally sensitive region.
The communal hate is not all that Bhanu has faced. Majority of the school teachers complained against him and District Development Commissioner, Doda Bhupinder Kumar, surprisingly issued him a show cause notice to explain his position within next five days. If Bhanu Singh fails to clear his stance, ‘appropriate action’ as warranted under law would be initiated against him.
Bhanu has reportedly told newspapers that the school teachers have not allowed the singing of the National Anthem for two years. Recently, on August 15, when the school had organised a flag hoisting ceremony and invited officers of ten Rashtriya Rifles, children of the school had partaken in the programme and had sung National Anthem. The singing of the anthem was continued for the next two days but was stopped after some senior schoolteachers disallowed it.
It was reported widely on August 18, a large number of students from GHSS, Bhagwah took out a peaceful protest march covering around 15 kms on foot to reach office of the Deputy Commissioner seeking action against the teachers who had allegedly prevented school children from singing National Anthem in the school.